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Feeling very much like a anime version of "The Avengers", there is comedy, action, and even a little drama to keep you interested.
Review by Matthew Anderson
3 episode OVA series
Company: Manga Entertainment
Running Time: 90 Minutes (3 episodes)
Rating:PG-13 (Language, Violence)
Unknown to most of the world, there exists an organization whose main purpose is to retrieve and safeguard old books. Called Section A Library, this branch of the United Kingdom government is manned by elite men and women, each possessing extra ordinary abilities.
One such agent is part time teacher Yomiko Readman (a.k.a. The Paper). Her current mission: to retrieve a stolen Beethoven manuscript from a group of terrorists. Problem is, these are not your average bad guys. The enemy are DNA clones of famous historical figures. Calling themselves the I-Jing, these well armed super geniuses are waging their own war against humanity.
To help deal with these psychotic historical figures, Yomiko is assigned two partners; a phase shifting agent called Ms. Deep and a career frustrated point man named Anderson.
Unbeknownst to Yomiko, there is a traitor among the members of Section A. If Yomiko is not careful, she may wind up being history instead a teacher of it.
DVD VISION TEST
VIDEO: The video is excellent. There are no defects,
artifacts, color bleeds or pixels. The motion is fluid, and the image is sharp
AUDIO: There are 4 audio tracks on this disc; English and Japanese 5.1, and English and Japanese 2.0 mix
Both 5.1 will knock your socks off. The sound comes at you from all sides, with a perfect mix of music, dialogue, and sound effects. The Japanese audio track is louder, but not as rich as the dub version.
The English and Japanese 2.0 is much more subdued than the 5.1. While there are some good surround sound elements, it does not pack the punch the 5.1 does. The Japanese 2.0 is clear and, like the 5.1, has a little more volume than the English 2.0
EDITS: Only the ending credits have been replaced with English ones. It seems they have learned their lesson.
EXTRAS: Interesting, if not plentiful. First up are Historical Biographies of the "famous" figures who appear in R.O.D. Next is the standard photo gallery consisting of scenes from the show. Last but not least, we have an interview with the director and crew who worked on R.O.D.
STORY: Hideyuki Kurata's screenplay is nothing but
pure fun. Sure, it may not be anything new, but that's not
the point. Feeling very much like a anime version of "The
Avengers", there is comedy, action, and even a little drama to keep
ACTING: Awesome on both ends. Reiko Miura does a great job at adding the right amount of naiveté for Yomiko with out going too far into whinny heroine. Michiko Neya sexy voice is perfect for the super hot Miss Deep.
If you loved the dub on "Burn Up Excess", you will love this one. Amanda Winn Lee matches Michiko Neya's sexiness for Miss Deep. Kimberly Yates is perfect as Yomiko, and Jaxson Lee (Jason Lee) does a fine job as the frustrated (no, not sexually) Anderson.
FAN SERVICE: Miss Deep is fan service, with her tight outfit and impressive err..guns. We also have some great bouncing bust lines on both female characters to keep you smiling.
If you are a fan of the Saiyuki anime, you will get a chuckle at learning where the idea came from.
In the 60's and 70's, television was inundated with secret agent shows; "The Avengers", "Wild, Wild West", and "The Man From U.N.C.L.E". What made these shows so popular were their cool characters, over the top situations, and non-stop action. Read Or Die (R.O.D) is a welcome throwback to the golden age of television.
All the right elements are in place. On the side of good you have the heroic lead, the capable partner, the enigmatic controller, and the loyal aid. For the bad guys, you have colorful villains, well financed, equipped with superior weapons, led by an insane genius. Rounding things off are neat gadgets, cool fights, and rapid fire dialogue. Taking things a step further, both the heroes and villains have X-Men like powers and abilities.
Rarely has 90 minutes gone by so fast. As soon as the theme song started to play, I was hooked. Everything, from the fast paced action to the wonderful character designs kept me glued to my seat. I give Director Kouji Masunari some major props for his work. He starts things off with a bang (literally) and keeps the pace up for the remaining 90 minutes.
The animation was very nicely done. The CG and traditional animation were blended exceptionally well and the motion flowed smoothly. While the color pallet is a little on the drab side, it works well with the overall look of the series.
In my opinion, Miss Deep is the sexiest spy since Miss Emma Peel in "The Avengers". It's not just the tight outfit and her curvaceous body that is so appealing, it's her attitude and butt kicking abilities that really wowed me.
I really enjoyed the music. From the 70's inspired opening theme, to the cool Jazz/Orchestra fusion of the background music. Taku Iwasaki's top notch score fits the fast and fun pace of the series.
Manga did a great job on this title. R.O.D looks and sounds a lot better than some of their previous releases. The big thing I was pleased about was them leaving the opening animation alone. I only wish there had been subtitles for the Japanese text while watching the dub track. Then, I could have died happy.
I can see why people love Read Or Die, and why they are so anxious to see the TV series. With it's fast paced action, over the top situations, and great looking animation, this is one to keep on your shelf (pun intended).
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